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An Engine
Plunges Through
The Bridge


Lincoln Banner, Wednesday, 30 July 1884

Lincoln, Kan., July 25 – The report that the engine going south this evening dashed through the bridge, which spans the Saline river about a half mile south of here, created quite an excitement throughout the city, and many persons hastened to the scene of the catastrophe.
It seems that when Sol Aultman [sic] reached the river he hesitated about taking his engine across the bridge, and John Sparks volunteered to occupy the cab across the river.
The thresher had been driven across in safety, but when the steamer got about the middle of the first span, the crash of breaking timbers announced the fact that the bridge was giving away. The weight being on the drive wheels, the hinder part of the engine went through first, and when it struck the ground the immense machine plunged forward down hill.
Although the whole affair occupied but an instant, Sparks had the presence of mind to close the throttle and throw on the brake, otherwise the engine would have run down into the river. He was at one time under the engine but saved himself by tearing off his boot. It is a great wonder that no one was seriously hurt.
The engine will be hoisted today and the bridge repaired in a few days.

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